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Navajo Nation 2011 

Students that visited the Navajo Nation lived on the reservation in Chinle, Arizona for three weeks in May. They experienced:
  • Working with the Community Health Representatives to 1) visit the homes of the people and help there; 2) clean up a section of the highway from debris
  • Being involved with the LDS congregation in the area in 1) Young Women activities; 2) providing clothing for the young adults; and 3) attending a ward party
  • Having official public health experiences
  • Participating in a sweat lodge
  • Learning directly about the health care system in Chinle
  • Meeting a Code Talker
  • Enjoying the historic and cultural experiences of the area


Student Reflections:

"In my future nursing experiences, I will care for and work with individuals from different religious or cultural backgrounds. This experience at the sweat lodge helped me better understand that Western medicine is not the only solution. I learned the importance of understanding the traditional cultural and religious healing practices of the patients in our care."

- Melissa

"In thinking back on my cultural experiences in Chinle, the one that comes to mind immediately is the [service] opportunity that we all had to go with the Community Health Representative (CHR) to help clean a man's house. As we were leaving, the CHR had informed us that the man that we were cleaning for was a widower. His vision was so bad that he was almost legally blind and, according to her, should have been declared such. If he didn't have his house in better condition than it was, he was going to be evicted from his home. This man had barely any furniture--the CHR was able to round up a couch for him. He had no electricity. What a humbling experience this was. Here is a man among many others in Chinle with the same living conditions and that is all they know and have known.... It is so important to never judge someone and their circumstances especially when you have no idea what they may really be experiencing or going through. I hope that I will remember this and allow it to influence my future service encounters. I also hope that it will influence and better my judgments of others. It is easy to jump to conclusions, even subconsciously at times, but as the old saying goes, I hope to learn to never judge a book by its cover. Many individuals come from circumstances and situations that I'm not sure I could ever imagine living in. As with this man I had most likely formed somewhat of a judgment in my head which was definitely incorrect. When I come across individuals from different cultures and even my own in both my career as a nurse and day-to-day, I hope to be more Christ-like and accepting of others before I allow myself to form any biased opinions. I am so grateful for this experience and know that it is one I will also remember from my trip to Chinle."

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